Workers at the Vestas wind turbine blade plant on the Isle of Wight have occupied their factory in Newport in an attempt to prevent its closure, which was scheduled for the end of this month. The Green Party Trade Union Group sends its full support to them.
Job losses in a recession are tragic and counterproductive, serving only to worsen it by throwing people out of work.
This particular closure would be doubly damaging because it would remove one of the few capacities Britain has to build the new, environmentally friendly technologies urgently needed to construct the infrastructure that could help to counteract the effects of climate change.
Importing turbine blades is a false solution because their transport would increase the environmental cost of wind turbines. Furthermore the skills and knowledge of the Vestas workers could be dispersed and lost just when we need them most.
If the government allows this closure, its commitment to dealing with climate change will seem a total sham.
How can it let Vestas close when it can afford;
The Afghan war effort
The bail out of banks including continuing taxpayers’ support for excessive fatcat salaries.
The renewal of the trident missile system
New nuclear power stations
And a ridiculous scheme of paying MP’s expenses ?
The Green Party Trade Union Group urges everyone who can to support the Vestas occupation and put pressure on government to actually enact a strategy of creating an environmentally friendly infrastructure for Britain and new jobs for its peoples.
P.Murry GPTU secretary
We should be seizing the opportunity to create a renewable energy revolution…The Government can make a genuine start along this road by pledging to keep the isle of Wight’s Vestas plant open for business.
- Dr Caroline Lucas, Green Party Leader and Euro-MP for the Isle of Wight and the South East.
Dear Mr Milliband,
Now is the chance for you and your government to turn hot air into reality. The workers at the Vestas factory are fighting for their future and that of this country and the planet. Your government’s policies are to increasingly rely on renewables, yet at a time when unemployment is mounting, creating untold hardship and poverty, you are allowing the only factory in the UK producing wind turbine blades to close down. This will result in these turbines being produced in other countries, such as China, thus reducing UK manufacturing further. This is the economics of the madhouse.
Your government was able to intervene and prop up the banks after the recent crisis, yet this factory which is making a significant contribution towards preventing climate change is receiving no assistance whatsoever. I am calling upon you to step in and nationalise the Vestas factory. Not only would this save the jobs of many workers but would also play a significant role in helping create the ‘Green New Deal’ which this country so badly needs, i.e. the creation of millions of new environmentally friendly and sustainable jobs.
The Vestas workers have shown the way. It is now up to your government to help them or to answer for it to the people in a few months time.
Dr Joseph Healy
Treasurer Green Party Trade Union Group